PEORIA (25 NEWS) – Emails from Illinois agencies provide more information on the investigation of Jelani Day since he was reported missing on August 25 and his car was found in an area wooded in Peru the next day.
Through the Freedom of Information Act, 25 News requested email communications from the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office, Coroner, and Emergency Management Agency.
Nearly 300 documents date from September 1 to October 15 and show that more than a dozen agencies are involved in the investigation into Day’s death.
These agencies include the Peruvian and Bloomington Police Department and Criminal Laboratories, the FBI’s Behavior Analysis Unit, and the Illinois Research and Research Council.
During this time, Day’s body was found in the Illinois River on September 4 and his identity was confirmed by the LaSalle County coroner on September 23.
On September 30, Illinois State Police crime scene investigator Brandi Field made the initial request for a multi-agency major case review.
“Sadly, the investigation into Mr. Day’s death continues to look larger and larger,” Field said in an email to state police.
“For this reason, I am requesting a major case review involving the three laboratories receiving / processing evidence,” she added.
Cari Gordon-Sandberg, interim laboratory director of PSI’s Morton Forensic Science Laboratory, agreed in an email response.
Five pieces of evidence of Day’s car were sent to the FAI’s Forensic Labs at Bloomington Crime Labs and these include swabs from the interior door handles on the driver’s and passenger’s side, a blue straw from a plastic cup. polystyrene and a partially smoked cigar blunt.
Other emails included LaSalle County Coroner Richard Ploch explaining what he called disinformation a news agency reported about missing organs in Day’s body.
“No organ was missing from his body,” Ploch said in an email to a news outlet requesting information about Day’s body.
“Some were badly decomposed because the body had been in the river for several days,” he added.
He also clarified that Day’s jaw and long bone had been surgically removed for dental identification and forensic DNA, which is common practice.
Our LaSalle County access to information request ran from September to mid-November.
The county has requested an extension of the last 30 days.
25 News is also seeking information from other agencies involved.
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